Today we took a road trip to Sagres and Cape St Vincent – this is the south western most point of Portugal & Europe.
The Cape is a landmark for all ships travelling to the Mediterranean. The cliffs around the cape rise near vertically from the Atlantic to a height of 75 metres. The cliffs were quite spectacular. This is also a common spot for surfers – apparently the surf is always up somewhere at the Cape due to the west Atlantic Ocean creating such good waves for surfing. We saw some surfers heading for the beach just prior to the road to the Cape – they had a number of boards, backpacks and a toddler in the front pack. A family day out.
The present lighthouse is 24 metres high and was built over the ruins of a 16th century Franciscan convent in 1846. This lighthouse, guarding one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is among the most powerful in Europe – it’s two 1,000 watt lamps can be seen up to 60km away.
We noticed that the landscape changed the closer we got to the Cape – someone had described it to us as something out of Wuthering Heights and we could see what she was saying. It was quite mystical and very windy. The wind made it quite a cool spot which is obviously quite a common theme given the vendors selling ponchos and woollen hats outside the lighthouse. We toughed it out in our summer gears though.
Apparently the sunsets at the Cape are spectacular.
We then drove back to Sagres – it is quite a tranquil town with a pretty harbour. As mentioned above it is popular with the surfers and the beaches are lovely. It is not so popular with the tourists yet. We had a very pleasant wander on the beach and sat and watched the happenings from two little concrete seats.